CHICAGO – In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Amanda Lowe of Blacksburg High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Virginia Volleyball Player of the Year. Lowe is the first Gatorade Virginia Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Blacksburg High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Lowe as Virginia’s best high school volleyball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Lowe joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).
The 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter amassed 300 kills and 101 digs this past season, leading the Bruins (14-1) to the Class 4 state semifinals. Lowe also recorded 50 blocks and 38 service aces while posting a .649 kill percentage and a dazzling .504 hitting percentage. A 2019 First Team All-State selection, Lowe led the Bruins to four straight Class 4D regional titles. She concluded her prep volleyball career with 1,378 kills.
The treasurer of the Random Acts of Kindness Club at Blacksburg High School, Lowe has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives through the Future Farmers of America, and she has donated her time as a youth volleyball coach. “I consider Amanda to be a strategic attacker—whatever blocking scheme we used to slow her down, she always found a way to maximize her play for the benefit of her team,” said Ted Prol, head coach of Pulaski County High School. “Amanda’s play in the back row was just as important as her front-row play. Her pipe (back court) attacks were accurate and powerful, and her passing percentage during serve-receives were among the best in our district.”
Lowe has maintained a 3.90 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Virginia Tech this fall. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport. Lowe joins recent Gatorade Virginia Volleyball Players of the Year Sydney Reed (2019-20, Flint Hill School), Krissy O’Malley (2018-19, Flint Hill School), Elena Shklyar (2017-18, Langley High School), and Abby Bottomley (2016-17, Princess Anne High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.